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St. Mary's University

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Model Rules of Professional Conduct

Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Cyber Security: A Lawyer’S Ethical Duty, Meagan Folmar Jan 2024

Cyber Security: A Lawyer’S Ethical Duty, Meagan Folmar

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

No abstract provided.


Rumpole And The Dissatisfied Client: Lessons On Justice From Four Case Studies In Client Objectives V. Lawyer Means, Thomas N. Bulleit, Esq. Jan 2024

Rumpole And The Dissatisfied Client: Lessons On Justice From Four Case Studies In Client Objectives V. Lawyer Means, Thomas N. Bulleit, Esq.

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Fictional barrister-at-law Horace Rumpole is a skillful, tenacious, and even fearsome courtroom advocate for his criminal defense clients. He cares deeply about winning. But Rumpole departs from the stereotypical heroes and antiheroes of fictional courtroom drama in that he typically complies fully with the ethical constraints on advocacy and the truth-finding process. When Rumpole does occasionally stumble, it is in the other direction: by losing track of his client, and presenting often unwanted truths to elevate victory above other needs or interests that the client considers just as, or sometimes much more, important than a favorable verdict.

Using several of …


When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi Jan 2021

When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s opinion in McCoy v. Louisiana held that a defendant has a constitutional right to insist their attorney not concede guilt as to any element of an offense, even if doing so is the only reasonable trial strategy to give the defendant a chance at life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Under McCoy’s holding, a defendant can insist on maintaining their innocence—even in the face of overwhelming evidence—and force their attorney to pursue a defense that will land them on death row. The Supreme Court’s holding makes clear that a strategic concession of guilt at trial—over …


“Listserv Lawyering”: Definition And Exploration Of Its Utility In Representation Of Consumer Debtors In Bankruptcy And In Law Practice Generally, Josiah M. Daniel Iii Jan 2021

“Listserv Lawyering”: Definition And Exploration Of Its Utility In Representation Of Consumer Debtors In Bankruptcy And In Law Practice Generally, Josiah M. Daniel Iii

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The author examines the communications and activities of bankruptcy lawyers participating in the listserv of the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and finds that those activities constitute a previously unrecognized form of “lawyering,” which he has defined as the work of lawyers in and through the legal system to accomplish the objectives of their clients. Review of specific postings about legal issues and practical problems by Texas bankruptcy lawyers, whose practices are primarily on behalf of individual debtors in cases under Chapters 7 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and observations about the voluntary, collaborative, and …


Ethical Issues With Lawyers Openly Carrying Firearms, Dru Stevenson Jul 2020

Ethical Issues With Lawyers Openly Carrying Firearms, Dru Stevenson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Ethical concerns arise when lawyers openly carry firearms to adversarial meetings related to representation, such as depositions and settlement negotiations. Visible firearms introduce an element of intimidation, or at least the potential for misunderstandings and escalation of conflicts. The adverse effects of openly carried firearms can impact opposing parties, opposing counsel, the lawyer’s potential clients, witnesses, and even judges and jurors encountered outside the courtroom. The ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct in their current form include provisions that could be applicable, such as rules against coercion and intimidation, but there is no explicit reference to firearms. Several reported incidents …


Ethical Cannabis Lawyering In California, Francis J. Mootz Iii Dec 2018

Ethical Cannabis Lawyering In California, Francis J. Mootz Iii

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Cannabis has a long history in the United States. Originally, doctors and pharmacists used cannabis for a variety of purposes. After the Mexican Revolution led to widespread migration from Mexico to the United States, many Americans responded by associating this influx of foreigners with the use of cannabis, and thereby racializing and stigmatizing the drug. After the collapse of prohibition, the federal government repurposed its enormous enforcement bureaucracy to address the perceived problem of cannabis, despite the opposition of the American Medical Association to this new prohibition. Ultimately, both the states and the federal government classified cannabis as a dangerous …


The Paragraph 20 Paradox: An Evaluation Of The Enforcement Of Ethical Rules As Substantive Law, Donald E. Campbell Jul 2018

The Paragraph 20 Paradox: An Evaluation Of The Enforcement Of Ethical Rules As Substantive Law, Donald E. Campbell

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article addresses an issue courts across the country continue to struggle with: When are ethics rules appropriately considered enforceable substantive obligations, and when should they only be enforceable through the disciplinary process? The question is complicated by the ethics rules themselves. Paragraph 20 of the Scope section of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct includes seemingly contradictory guidance; it states the Rules are not to be used to establish civil liability, but also that they can be “some evidence” of a violation of a lawyer’s standard of care. Most states have adopted this paradoxal Paragraph 20 language. Consequently, courts …


It’S A Trap! The Ethical Dark Side Of Requests For Admission, Colin Flora May 2018

It’S A Trap! The Ethical Dark Side Of Requests For Admission, Colin Flora

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Due largely to an overlap of authority between disciplinary bodies charged with supervising the professional conduct of attorneys and the authority of courts to supervise litigation, the ethical ramifications of routine discovery abuses often pass without comment. That is because disciplinary authorities routinely defer to courts to police litigation behavior despite courts frequently rejecting the role of enforcers of professional rules. A further contributing factor to unethical conduct becoming routine practice in discovery are ill-defined parameters and a dearth of guidance. One tool in particular, requests for admission, has gone overlooked in the literature and caselaw, but poses unique ethical …


Professional Responsibility Of The Criminal Defense Lawyer Redux: The New Three Hardest Questions, Todd A. Berger Oct 2017

Professional Responsibility Of The Criminal Defense Lawyer Redux: The New Three Hardest Questions, Todd A. Berger

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In 1966, Professor Monroe Freedman authored Professional Responsibility of the Criminal Defense Lawyer: The Three Hardest Questions, a work that occupies an important place in the cannon of legal ethics. Freedman believed that the three hardest questions facing a criminal defense attorney relate to whether it is ethical to discredit a truthful witness; whether it is proper to knowingly allow a client to testify falsely; and whether a lawyer may provide a client with legal advice when the lawyer suspects the client may use that advice to commit a crime. Beyond Freedman’s queries there are other important, yet largely unaddressed, …


Am I A “Licensed Liar”?: An Exploration Into The Ethic Of Honesty In Lawyering . . . And A Reply Of “No!” To The Stranger In The La Fiesta Lounge, Josiah M. Daniel Iii Dec 2016

Am I A “Licensed Liar”?: An Exploration Into The Ethic Of Honesty In Lawyering . . . And A Reply Of “No!” To The Stranger In The La Fiesta Lounge, Josiah M. Daniel Iii

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

After hearing for the first time the lawyer-disparaging phrase, “licensed liar,” the author investigated its significance. This article presents the question of those two words’ meaning and explains how the author reached the conclusion that, as applied to attorneys, the phrase is an unmerited epithet. The phrase is known and utilized in nonlegal texts in fields such as fiction, poetry, literary criticism, and journalism, but the two words are absent from legal texts. The author’s discovery of the phrase in various criticisms of lawyers in other publications illuminates and confirms that the phrase constitutes the pejorative allegation that an attorney …


The Impact Of Technological Developments On The Rules Of Attorney Ethics Regarding Attorney–Client Privilege, Confidentiality, And Social Media, Pamela A. Bresnahan, Lucian T. Pera Dec 2016

The Impact Of Technological Developments On The Rules Of Attorney Ethics Regarding Attorney–Client Privilege, Confidentiality, And Social Media, Pamela A. Bresnahan, Lucian T. Pera

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This article focuses on the development of the law of ethics and technology. Emphasis is placed on how technological developments have affected the rules and means by which lawyers practice law and certain ethical pitfalls that have developed hand-in-hand with technological advancements. Topics examined include: (1) the ways by which electronic communication has increased the potential for the attorney–client privilege to be waived and the resulting impact on the present-day practice of law; (2) the effect of social media on lawyers’ ethical obligations, including counseling clients regarding the client’s use of social media and the lawyer’s own use of social …